As the Market Focus Baltic Countries programme drew to a close, The London Book Fair (LBF) and its UK partners, The Publishers Association (PA) and the British Council, celebrated the success of this year’s programme with its Baltic Country partners the Estonian Literature Centre, Writers’ and Translators’ House, Latvia and the Lithuanian Culture Institute and welcomed next year’s Market Focus country Indonesia.
In an official handover ceremony today on the final day of the fair, the outgoing Baltic Market Focus countries were represented by Ms Tiina Intelmann, Estonian Ambassador, Ms Baiba Braže, Latvian Ambassador and Mr. Renatas Norkus, Lithuanian Ambassador.
Over the three days of this year’s Fair, Market Focus Baltic Counties saw twelve of the most prominent and engaging writers from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to The London Book Fair, including the Market Focus Authors of the Day Kristina Sabaliauskaitė (Lithuania), Nora Ikstena (Latvia) and Mihkel Mutt (Estonia) speaking across LBF. Altogether there were over 25 events celebrating literature and publishing in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania across LBF and an exhibition of illustrations from the Baltic Countries in the Children’s Hall.
Next year’s Market Focus country were represented today by Indonesia’s ambassador for the UK, H.E. Rizal Sukma, and Vice Chairman of the Agency for Creative Economy, Mr. Ricky Joseph Pesik.
LBF will work with Indonesian partners Indonesia’s Agency for Creative Economy (Bekraf) and the National Book Committee of the Ministry of Education and Culture to build an extensive cultural and professional publishing programme at next year’s book fair, including promotion of Indonesian publishing incentives. A core theme of Indonesia’s Market Focus will be introducing the country’s “17,000 Islands of Imagination” to the international public and, especially, to the UK. Indonesia”s slogan for the Fair – “17,000 Islands of Imagination”—symbolizes the intellectual and artistic richness of this incredibly diverse and multi-religious nation.
The London Book Fair Market Focus programme, which is run in partnership with the British Council, will include cultural events celebrating Indonesian authors and books, and a professional programme designed to enable and enhance business opportunities. Market Focus offers UK and international publishers the chance to forge new business partnerships and expand into global markets.
Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world and the largest producer of books in Southeast Asia (and a large consumer of foreign titles). Over the last few years there has been a substantial growth in the sale of rights of Indonesian books to territories around the world, ranging from fashion and design to Islam and politics.
Through publishing incentives and an extensive cultural programme including its LBF Market Focus partnership, Indonesia through The Indonesian Agency for Creative Economy and the Ministry of Education and Culture is making a concerted effort to introduce the country’s “17,000 Islands of Imagination” to the international public and, especially, to the UK. Next year, through the London Book Fair Market Focus Programme, Indonesia aims to demonstrate its imagination and tell its stories through works of literature as a part of its dialogue with the greater global community.
Jacks Thomas, Director of The London Book Fair, commented:
“Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have delivered a wonderful Market Focus at this year’s Fair. We have learnt so much about contemporary literature and publishing from the Baltic Countries and we have been honoured by having the inspiring illustrators’ gallery and events programme at the heart of our Fair. I look forward to news of publishing deals over the coming months and years and to the growing success of Baltic literature abroad. I am delighted that next year Indonesia will be the Market Focus and I look forward to working with them on promoting Indonesian publishing and literature at the Fair.”
H.E.Ms Tiina Intelmann, Ambassador of Estonia, said:
“Being a Market Focus country at the London Book Fair in 2018 when Estonia celebrates its centenary has been a great honour for us. It has opened new doors for many Estonian authors and publishers, tightened contacts with not only British publishers, literary organisations and festivals, but also among ourselves in the Baltic countries. We thank the London Book Fair and all the co-organisers for this amazing experience and wish the best of luck for next year’s Market Focus Country Indonesia in their preparation for London Book Fair 2019.”
Ms Baiba Braže, Latvian Ambassador, said:
“On Latvia’s 100 year anniversary our world class literature, poetry, illustrators, printers have now been firmly put on the world map via the London Book Fair, and I wish Indonesia the same success!”
Justė Kostikovaitė, Lithuanian Embassy in the UK, said:
Lithuania is celebrating it’s centenary together with other Baltic States and has an extensive cultural programme in London and across the UK.It was a great pleasure for Lithuania to participate in the London Book Fair with special focus on Baltic Countries. We look forward to the London Book Fair 2019!
Vice Chairman of the Agency for Creative Economy, Mr. Ricky Joseph Pesik, said:
“Indonesia’s creative economy industry has experienced exponential growth in the past three years. Indonesia’s creative sector employes 15.9 million people and contributes 7.3 percent to the gross domestic product (GDP) which is equivalent to 67 billion USD and an export contribution of 20 billion USD.
As the Market Focus Country at the 2019 London Book Fair, Bekraf would like to take this opportunity to bring Indonesia’s publishing sector and related sectors into the next level by featuring the finest authors, publishers and Indonesia’s rich cultural and literary heritage. It represent a huge opportunity for Indonesia’s creative sector, specifically the publishing sector.”
Director General of Culture, Ministry of Education and Culture, Republic of Indonesia, Hilmar Farid, said:
“A book fair isn’t just about buying and selling rights to books; it represents an exchange of ideas and cultural values. As Market Focus Country at the 2019 London Book Fair, Indonesia will, in partnership with the British Council, spread the word of Indonesia’s font of creativity through Great Britain and beyond.”
Cortina Butler, Director Literature at the British Council said:
“It has been a tremendous pleasure to welcome the Baltic countries as The London Book Fair Market Focus for 2018. We have greatly enjoyed getting to know the culture and literature of these countries better over the past year, and our programme continues for the next few months.”
I am delighted to welcome Indonesia as Market Focus for 2019. Indonesia’s culture and literature are relatively undiscovered by UK audiences so we are eagerly anticipating the literary adventure ahead.”
Stephen Lotinga, Chief Executive, The UK Publishers Association, said:
“This year’s Market Focus has been as brilliant as ever and it has been fantastic to learn more about the culture and literature of the Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Our thanks to them for putting on such a great programme. We are very much looking forward to working with Indonesia for next year’s Market Focus.”